Descriptions of furniture, accessories, and artwork.












Improvements

1. Mounted a basket on the Laundry Room door to store detergent and dryer sheets in a convenient location, rather than on top of the machines, on the floor, or in another closet. Open the door to do laundry and there is the detergent right by the washing machine. Nice.

2. The bath vanity is quite deep (almost 23" - way too deep for a studio apartment) and the only lights are above the mirror or in the high ceiling - lighting the tops of heads from a distance. Design note: users like to get up close to a mirror and they like their face to be well lit. Solution: mount a lighted mirror on the wall so the user can get close. When not in use, it folds out of the way.

3. Two cloth bins on the bath counter help organize toiletries and keep the top uncluttered.





Above: Text message and infomap sent to nabors who asked to borrow a parking place. Below: 2nd St sidewalk improvements.


Specs
Location: Seaholm Residences/2nd Street District, Austin
Square feet: 558 interior, 52 Observation Deck
Building: Opened: 2016, 30 floors, 280 units
November 2018: UT Advisor reunion, "I wanna buy a house."
Saturday 3, am: walk to Public Library, see 222 West Ave (Ooh, that could be cool); pm: tour East Austin
Sunday 4, pm: tour East Austin (what about a condo?), downtown, 222 West condos, sunset on 15th floor
Monday 5, 8:40a: return to 19 & 29th: view of Zilker Park, river, hills; “This is it.”
Tuesday, 6: submit offer, counteroffers
Wensday, 7, 11:44a: offer accepted
Wensday, 21, 10:00a: Closing
Move in: Nov 29 - Dec 2, 2018: unload car, unpack, IKEA, assemble furniture, settle
December 21-26: Settle, Brooklyn walk

Living in downtown Austin Texas
My first introduction to Austin Texas was probly learning about state capitols in school. Maybe in Texas History we learned about the Alamo, the fight for independence from Mexico, San Jacinto, and the seat of the new government in Washington-on-the-Brazos, and then Austin. In 1966, my mother drove the two of us to Monterey Mexico. We stopped in Austin to look around the campus (I was a sophomore in high school). A sniper shot people from the UT Tower only 3 weeks earlier. My next time to see Austin was August 4-8, 1968 when I went to Freshman Orientation at UT. I stayed in Kinsolving Dorm and had time to explore the campus. A few weeks later, mid-September, my parents drove me and some of my stuff to Prather Hall dorm so I could move in. I lived in Austin most of the year for the next 6 years, Fall 1968-Spring 1974, and a few months in the fall of 1979. I lived 2 years in campus dorms - Prather and Jester, then the largest dorm in the country with 3,000 beds, over 2 years in the fraternity house, an apartment off Riverside Drive, and a rental house on Ridglea Drive. Later, I would go back to visit friends and enjoy the city. I once read that someone said, "Every Texan has 2 hometowns - their own and Austin." Texans from all over the state seem to fell Austin is home.
After I sold the apartment in NYC and I was itching to move back to Texas (I never relinquished my Texan citizenship during the 30+ years in Oklahoma). I had my realtor fraternity brother friend show me some naberhoods in Austin. My criteria was a pedestrian environment; walking distance to stores, coffee shops, and restraunts. A place that was unique to the Austin Experience. Well, those areas were, of course, also the most in-demand and, therefore, the most expensive. Priced out of my desired range. I later turned my attention to Denton, "The Affordable Austin." I made offers on 2 houses within walking distance to the Denton Courthouse Square.
A concept that I considered while in NYC was to downsize from the 1-bedroom to a Studio. I really didn't need 2 rooms for visits to the city. I also considered selling the NY Apt and buying a Studio apt in Los Angeles and live there for a few years to experience Southern California (and go to Disneyland multiple times). So, years later, 2018, while looking at houses in Denton and East Austin, I realized I didn't want a second house with 2 lawns to mow, and 2 houses to maintain. Buying a house in an older naberhood would also 'require' extensive remodeling - I had just finished remodeling the Edmond kitchen and didn't want to deal with that again for a long while.
In late fall of 2018, I had some free time from Orientation Advisor Reunion events. While walking to the new Austin Library, I saw these condo towers and noticed one on the west - I looked up and told myself, I could enjoy living there.

So, I looked at condos in Downtown Austin. The next day, Tom, my former college roommate and current Realtor took me up to view 3 of them. Each was nice, but it had gottewn dark so we agreed to meet the next morning to check the views in the daylight. That morning, when I walked out on the balcony of the one on the 29th floor, I said, "This is it".
“I can’t think of any negatives.”
Tom, “You were looking for the Austin Experience - you found it.”



It is a Studio, or, as I call it - a GHR - a Glorified Hotel Room. It is in a pedestrian area: Trader Joe’s, pet store, coffee house, 2nd Street, and parks, trails, and the lake. Before I could commit, I told the realtor that I needed to get out of Austin and process the future on the drive back to Oklahoma (6 hours in the car). Within 2 hours into the drive to Fort Worth, I realized, "This feels so right." "This is something I want to do." I never felt nervous, any regret, or hesitation. It was confirmed. I plan to experience Austin, San Antonio, and the Hill Country for 4 or 5 years, then maybe consider something else.
Concept: Focus on the view, the height, and the brightness from the west. Minimal, classic, straight line furniture - few knickknacks and geegaws.


Merit Coffee, True Food, Trader Joe's, pet store, Poke Bowl. Below: offices of the Google and the vacant lot in front is the construction site of the new 35-story Google Building. The tall 'Jenga' Tower in the next photos is the Independent, the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi. The previous tallest is down the street towards the back.